Queer Space, you old dog!

Queer Space, the collective/community center into which I poured my early twenties, turned 10 years old this year. Actually, last December, but who's counting. The current collective thinks it was born in 1998. And I self-identify as 29. Whatever.

Queer Space has changed a lot (I hear) but some of the collective members have been there all along, which is crazy/fantastic/impossible. They demanded a letter that they could read at the birthday party. Instead, Contrary Mary sent them something that should definitely *not* be read out loud at any kind of party. But queer history is important!!!


Who not to be (in the Bronx): notes on trying to house ourselves.

In July. I was looking for an apartment in the solid New York tradition: partly to find housing, and partly to get a good nosey at apartments I'd never get into otherwise, get the dirt from supers, figure out what's happening in the secretive world of rent-regulated landlords. Not surprisingly, I found the deliberate, grinding machinery of gentrification in full screech, and I was going to post some notes about it here...

Meanwhile, I'd applied for an apartment in a lovely old family-owned building just below Mosholu, where a friend of a friend lives. She put in a word with the landlord. He called her back -- having googled me, I guess -- to say "this person you're recommending... you know she's an activist." He said (reportedly) "you know, sometimes we get an applicant and, ah, we recommend them to a building that might be better suited to them."

I was already in contortions to get the apartment. I was begging my girlfriend to let me get the lease without her name on it, to avoid credit drama. I was offering my richest, most prestigious relative as my guarantor. I was calling the landlord and being so nice and flexible. I hand delivered the application fee to Westchester with the swiftness of silver-heeled mercury, outfitted in my best smart, going-places white lady drag. Also, I #$%^& needed that apartment. So I did one more contortion: I didn't post those notes. For 3 months! And that's what you have to do to get an apartment. In the Bronx.


Live Earth on the hot ticket

Got a fancy ticket for the Live Earth concert, Al Gore's huge, all-continent simulconcert whose mission was to "create a movement" to stop doing all the things we're doing to make the world hotter, wetter, stormier and generally a lot less welcoming. Although I watched the concert from an air-conditioned skybox whose windows were open the whole time and left with pockets full of consumer dross, it was actually pretty worthy all around. Al Gore looks like his life has improved a lot since the White House. Jane Goodall did a rockin impression of chimps' greeting call. And Miss Petra Nemcova... was entertainingly dim. Talking about surviving the tsunami, she said "I didn't feel hate for nature, I felt that the nature was screaming for help!" Anyway, it was a 360 degree eco-experience. Mostly.